Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said, “Our contract was with McCann Worldwide. It was the agency which had hired him [Aamir Khan]. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists”. However, the tourism ministry quickly clarified its stance.
When word of this got out there was speculation about whether this was merely due to Aamir’s contract with the Tourism Ministry coming to an end or his remarks about ‘rising intolerance’ prevailing in India. His remarks had landed him in hot water; even Anupam Kher took to Twitter to call out the actor on his supposedly “anti-India” comments. Issuing a statement, Aamir Khan welcomed the government’s decision.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure for me to be the Brand Ambassador for the Incredible India campaign for the past 10 years,” stated Khan. “I was happy to be of service to my country and will always be available for it. I would like to clarify that all public service films I have done till date have all been free of any cost to me.”
He gracefully accepted that the government is heading in a different direction. “It is the prerogative of the government to decide whether they need a brand ambassador for any campaign, and if so, who that ambassador should be. I respect the decision of the government to discontinue with my services. I am sure they will take all appropriate steps to do what is best for the country. Whether I am brand ambassador or not, India will remain Incredible, and that’s the way it should be.”
Asked specifically whether Aamir was still the Tourism Ministry’s brand ambassador, the minister said: “Definitely not”.